Nuclear power debate and public opinion in Belarus: From Chernobyl to Ostrovets

Public Underst Sci. 2017 Apr;26(3):275-288. doi: 10.1177/0963662516647242. Epub 2016 May 5.


The Belarusian government's decision of the last decade to build a nuclear power plant near the city of Ostrovets, in northern Belarus, has proven to be controversial, resulting in a great deal of debate about nuclear energy in the country. The debate was inevitably shaped by the traumatic event that affected Belarus - the Chernobyl nuclear accident of 1986. The Belarusian authorities have consistently promoted a positive view of nuclear energy to the population in order to overcome the so-called 'Chernobyl syndrome' and deliberately shaped nuclear risk communication. As a result, the issue of trust remains crucial in all nuclear debates in Belarus.

Keywords: Belarus; Chernobyl; nuclear energy; risk communication.

MeSH terms

  • Chernobyl Nuclear Accident
  • Communication
  • Nuclear Power Plants* / statistics & numerical data
  • Politics*
  • Public Opinion*
  • Republic of Belarus
  • Risk*
  • Trust*